Software tracks Houston school's equipment

With school budgets squeezed tighter each day, the last thing West Briar Middle School could afford was lost equipment. Starting this school year, West Briar will be able to spend virtually all of its equipment budget for new items instead of replacing misplaced assets, thanks to new asset-tracking software.

A school in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), West Briar serves more than 1,350 students with a staff of 80 teachers. During the past few years, the school was cited by HISD for excessive equipment shortages at the end of the year. In addition, with the many tasks at hand, West Briar frequently missed the deadlines for its annual equipment audits.

“No one was happy with the situation,” said campus network specialist Erskine Vanderbilt. “It cost time, money and lots of unwanted attention from the district.”

The school purchased Wasp Barcode Technologies' Wasp MobileAsset asset tracking software, plus a mobile computer and barcode printer. Using a classroom-by-classroom equipment checklist, Vanderbilt began affixing barcode labels to each asset. Each asset can be checked in and out with a scan on the mobile computer. If a computer or device is sent out for service, MobileAsset can track the equipment’s status and location, as well as any replacement device.

“A mobile computer is ideal for schools and other organizations that have equipment spread out over a large number of rooms or offices,” said Tom O’Shea, general manager for Wasp Barcode Technologies. “The convenience of having the asset database with you at all times means verifications and updates can constantly occur. It makes tracking assets accurate and faster than ever before.”

Vanderbilt expects Wasp MobileAsset to cut his annual audit time by about 75 percent, since he will complete the process in approximately three weeks rather than three months. Plus, the annual audit deadlines will be met. In addition, he can now deploy new equipment to classrooms much faster.

“Being able to accurately account for the equipment will eliminate having to repurchase equipment that has been lost or misplaced,” Vanderbilt added. “The replacement money comes from the school’s funds. There are much better things we can use the money for than replacing technology we own, but can’t find.”